Coopers has been a really exciting venture so far and I am positive there are more fun and games to come, but sometimes I have found myself wishing for lemons.
Setting up and growing Coopers has been full of challenges that have totally pushed me to limits I didn’t know existed. It has also made me question a lot - how people treat others, how important friends and family are, and how important a good team is. But what do you do when you feel you keep having to grow the lemons before you get to use them? Push on. Grit your teeth, knuckle down and get on with it.
One bugbear in relation to business is the success stories, stay with me… I love it when people are successful, it pushes and inspires us all, but what it tends not to highlight is how hard it is to ‘make’ it. There are hours and hours that go on in the background that aren’t seen therefore not understood by the masses. No-one is an overnight success, you don't magically wake up one day and ‘boom’ business is up and running, time to kick back and enjoy life. No no no. It takes work, passion, dedication and sheer grit to achieve goals. I kind of hoped I would wake up to 2018 with a fair few problems magically fixed, sad to say they are still on the to-do list.
There is a lot out in the world, mainly social media, that promises it can give you the world in 5 simple steps, giving you all the time in the world be be you and to have a regular life filled with nights out, fabulous holidays blah blah. I call bullshit.
Yes, you can be a success.
Yes you should be inspired by others.
Yes be positive.
Yes get motivated.
Yes people can get rich quick
BUT get a reality check. The majority of us need to put in the hours to make it in this world. When I talk about making it, I personally am not motivated by money and trying to become a millionaire, while I want to be more self-sufficient and not keep relying on friends and family for support emotionally and unfortunately at times financially, I am not working hard and making plans purely to make money. The world of coffee is huge, it also needs to be better looked after to make it sustainable long term.
2017 was an interesting year. Very much a step on from the previous two years which were about setting up and bringing Coopers to life while being side-tracked by other ideas and people - sorry to say a lot of it was wasted time. A lot of learning was done but it should have been condensed down. Whereas 2017 team Coopers really felt like it has started pulling together and working much more efficiently. It felt like we finally moved from being a caterpillar to the next stage of being the chrysalis. The goal throughout 2018 is to develop from here and maybe we will be able to start to fly. Here’s hoping anyway.
Aims for the next couple of years;
- Putting it out there I finally, after talking about it for ages want to get the online shop up and running. I thought it was getting there last summer but a lot was happening and got thoroughly stuck on the online shop development particularly linking the site, payments and deliveries. The last few days of reading and experimenting I think there is a solution. Here’s hoping.
- Wholesale of coffee has started but it is looking a fairly slow process, but this might stand us in a good position long term - ironing out initial challenges. To grow this month on month will be a great and thrilling challenge.
- Develop and educate about coffee. Ensure people are understanding it is more than ‘just coffee’ - there is the whole supply chain and places, particularly high end restaurants need to get on board and stop serving the cheap, low quality, labour rinsing coffee they are. It is so simple and still relatively cost-effective for masses to drink better coffee.
- Personally - get fit again. Not feeling at all bright and chirpy physically! I might document this to keep pushing me on. Exercise (lots) and decent food will be needed.
This is how I plan make it happen;
- Keep talking to people, know I am not alone the struggles, plus answers and help can come from these interactions.
- Set goals and deadlines and not give up, if it’s not working I will find a work around or bin the idea asap and move on. I love mulling but that has been some of the problem, it is up to me therefore the deadline can move when other issues crop up. I need to stick to them as if I have been given them by a 3rd party.
- Continue to be myself and treat people with respect.
In order to make a success you can’t rely on anyone but yourself, sure - make the most of other peoples skills, particularly if you have identified your weaknesses that others can help you with. Keep motivated and inspired by others actions but ultimately you need to put the work in to get somewhere.
So, sometimes I wished I was at least given lemons to work with. It has felt like we have had to plant and replant seeds in order to even start growing the trees and lemons to do develop anything but that is where we are at, Those that know me know that typically I won’t just make lemonade! Maybe lemon tea, lemon cake and lemon decorations, lemony art, anything outside the box, I am sure I will keep looking to make more unusual things and this is why I need to focus. It starts now!
Best wishes all, may whatever you choose to do with your time make you happy. Here’s to a healthy 2018 - year of the Lemon!